For those who don’t know, Julieanne Kost is kind of a big deal. Kost is the Principal Evangelist for Photoshop and Lightroom at Adobe Systems. She is also the founder of and publisher of the Daily Photoshop and Lightroom Tip. Along with these, she is the host of The Complete Picture, a bimonthly training program featuring Lightroom and Photoshop, and the producer of Lightroom 5 Getting Started. Kost has even written a book called Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking, while also creating Photoshop CC Essential training and the Art of Compositing with

In her work, she combines a passion for photography, a master of digital imaging techniques and knowledge that she gained studying psychology in order to construct a world that simulates the familiar, while also providing an interpretation of physical reality.

Although her images explore her personal reality and are representations of her perspective, they retain an abstractness that creates space for individual interpretation. In 25 years, she has created a library of individual elements ranging from photographs of textures and landscapes, to scans of found objects, to encaustic paintings and charcoal drawings. These individual works, together in unison, tell her larger message. That larger message is to evoke an emotional response, whether that is positive or negative.

In her imaginary scenes, she creates imaginary scenes layering elements together that are unconstrained by linear time and physical location. These images challenge the imagination, beginning with a concept of elements that she is never quite sure in what way they will fit together in the end. The process for her, of creation is never a complete one, in the sense that stories and messages always emerge ex nihilo, but the true art form, is knowing when to stop and realize that she has said what she set out to say.


10 Photoshop Shortcuts For A More Efficient Layers Workflow


1) To change the opacity of a layer, select the Move tool (or any tool that doesn’t have an Opacity setting in the Options bar), and use the numeric keys on the keyboard to set the opacity.

Tapping one number assigns the percentage of the tapped number (1 = 10%, 2= 20% etc. and 0 = 100%). Tapping two numbers quickly will give you that exact amount (5 + 4 = 54%). Tapping 0 + 0 quickly will set the Layer’s opacity to 0 (zero). This works with either a single layer or multiple layers selected and is an excellent way to quickly hide and revel layers.


2) To quickly cycle through the Layer panel’s Blend Modes, select the Move tool (or any other tool that does not have a Blend Mode option), hold the Shift key, and tap “+” (plus) or “-” (minus) to move forward or backwards through the Blend Models.

 blend screen shot


3) The Layers panel has the ability to search (filter) layers based on a variety of criteria, making working with multi-layered documents much easier.

Choose a “Filter Type” by clicking the drop down menu at the top left of the Layers panel and choose from Kind, Name, Effect, Mode, Attribute, Color., Smart Object and Selected. Then, use the corresponding options that appear to the right of the Filter Type to narrow down the search. The “light switch” to the right of the Filter options toggles the filtering on and off. Click an icon again to toggle it off. Note: when filtering by Kind, you can click on more than one icon at a time in order to narrow down the search.




4) The following shortcuts help target layers via the keyboard.

These shortcuts are essential when recording actions as they help to select layers, but do not record the specific “name” of the layer in the action.

• Option + “[“ or “]” (Mac) | Alt + “[“ or “]” (Win) targets the layer below or above the currently targeted layer.

• Option +Shift + “[“or + “]“ (Mac) | Alt +Shift + “[“or + “]“ (Win) adds the next layer down or up to the targeted layer(s). Note: when you get to the top or bottom of the layer stack, Photoshop will “wrap around” to continue adding/subtracting layers.

• Option + “,“ or “.” (Mac) | Alt + “,“ or “.” (Win) targets the bottom/top -most layer.

• Option + Shift + “,“ or “.” (Mac) | Alt + Shift + “,“ or “.” (Win) targets all layers that fall between the currently targeted layer to the top or bottom of the layer stack.


5) Use the following shortcuts to quickly toggle the visibility of selected layers in Photoshop CC 2014.

• Command + , (comma) (Mac) | Control + , (comma) (Win) toggles the visibility of the currently selected layer(s).

• Command + Option +  , (comma)  (Mac) | Control + Alt +  , (comma)  (Win) shows all layers (regardless of which layers are selected).


6) Several new features have been added to expedite working with  multiple layers when selected.

For example, using the Layers panel, you can change blend modes and opacity, lock layers and Control -click (Mac) | Right Mouse -click (Win) on the Eye icon in the Layers panel to change the color label of all selected layers.




7) With multiple layers selected, Command + J (Mac) | Control + J (Win) will duplicate the selected layers.

This shortcut works to duplicate selected Layer Groups as well. However you can also select the layer(s) or Layer Groups to be duplicated and Option-drag (Mac) / Alt -drag (Win) the layers in the Layers panel. This method allows you to duplicate and reposition the layers as needed.




8) Feathering the edges of a selection along the edge of a document has changed in the most recent version of Photoshop.

In previous versions, if you selected an area of an image that included an edge area and then choose Select >Modify > Feather, the Feather would be added to the entire selection. While this might be desirable in some instances, in the majority of cases, it would be ideal if the feather was only applied within the image (and not to the edges). As a result, in the current version, the default behavior is set so that they feather is not applied at the edge (the canvas bounds) of an image. This is also true for the following commands:

Select > Modify > Smooth, Expand, and Contract


9) There are a number of shortcuts that can make working with layer masks more efficient:

• Drag the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to move it from one layer to another.

• Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) a layer or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to create a copy of the mask.

• Option + Shift -drag (Mac) | Alt + Shift -drag (Win) to create copy of a layer mask while simultaneously inverting the mask.

• Temporarily turn off a layer mask by Shift clicking on it’s thumbnail. Click the thumbnail again to enable it.

• To view a layer mask, Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel (this can be very useful when working on multi layered documents as showing the mask can reveal any awkward transitional areas that might not have been visible in the complex composite (a sharp edge from a selection or gradient for example).

• Tapping the “\”(backslash) toggles the display of a layer mask on and off (as a red rubylith overlay). Looking at the Channels panel, you can see that this shortcut toggles the masks visibility.

• To paste content (from the clipboard) into a Layer mask, Option -click (Mac) | Alt (Win) -click the Layer mask icon on the Layers panel and select Edit > Paste.


10) Option + (Mac) | Alt  + (Win) -dragging a Smart Filter from one layer to another has different behavior based on where you click and drag from.

For example, dragging from the text “Smart Filters will duplicate the Smart Filter including the layer mask. Dragging the name of the Smart Filter duplicates without copying the mask.